Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 Iron Butt Rally Part 2

In Buffalo, I saw a few familiar faces as soon as I arrived. Bob St. George pointed me to a place to park and several IBR vets were hanging around. I wanted to check into the hotel first before I got in line to go through scoring. While checking in, Kevin Craft stopped to say hello. Kevin is the Rallymaster of the Rendez-vous Rally which I will be participating in next month. I got to the room and got all my stuff together for scoring. I was a little nervous for some reason. It was my first time scoring for the IBR and I thought for sure I did something wrong, but everything went well. I made one mistake with my rest bonus. I thought the max you could claim was four hours, but I was wrong. I lost a couple hundred points by not resting long enough to collect the maximum points. Not too much of a big deal. They served Buffalo wings for dinner after scoring. I was sick of Cliff bars and road food so I chowed down. Lisa Landry came up to me and said “you’ve got a little something on your chin.” When I got back to the room I looked at myself in the mirror and my whole face was covered in Buffalo Wing sauce.

I got a good amount of sleep before the early morning riders meeting to get the next leg’s bonus listing. We were also given our standings for the leg and I landed in 41st out of 86 riders. I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed, but I knew exactly why I was in the middle of the pack. I rested a lot during leg one and did not bother with many of the state capitols. That was all going to change in leg 2. I got the bonus listing and went back to the room to start planning my leg 2 route. I knew I was going to be going right by my apartment during the leg so I budgeted one hour. Planning did not take very long. It was basically hit every capitol on the leg except Albany. I knew the Albany stop was about an hour out of my way and I wanted to make sure I had that hour to stop at home.

The leg started in some heavy rain. I headed straight to Montpelier VT. Once I crossed into VT, I felt like I was home already. It was a fun day riding around roads that I have been on many times in the past. I didn’t see too many riders along the way. I think most of them stopped in Albany. I saw Chris Sakala again in NH. About 30 miles north of Boston I was riding with Eric Jewel. We were stuck in some traffic and chatted for a bit. I pulled away from him when I got to Chelsea. I stopped at home and Les was ready for me. She had a fresh supply of food for me and a few other items I needed. I dropped off some dirty clothes, ate lunch, kissed Les, and hit the road again.

I chatted with Roger Sinclair over the CB on the way to Providence. I was congratulating him on a great ride he had so far. We were both planning to go to Hartford. I lost him somewhere in traffic along the way and didn’t see him again until Jacksonville.
Trenton was the low point of the leg. The GPS had me taking an alternative route that runs parallel to the interstate, but has traffic lights and traffic. It took me an hour to go 20 miles. I was pissed. All of this for a lousy 36 points. I was dodging potholes all over downtown Trenton. It was like Beirut in the mid-80’s.

One of the recurring things I kept thinking about during the rally was doing everything I could to avoid urban traffic and rush hours. In hindsight, I should not have allowed that to dictate the times I was going to go through major cities. It is something to consider, but not something that should control your route. I was somewhat obsessed with this. I spent way too much time trying to think of ways to get through Atlanta before rush hour traffic starts. I was able to get through there at 4:00 in the morning after riding through the night. However, it messed-up my sleeping schedule. Once I got through there, I found a rest area and slept for a few hours on a picnic table before making the final push to Jacksonville. There must have been a state patrol shift change around 9:00 that morning because I saw Georgia State Patrol pulling people over about every three miles. I was able to avoid getting pinched.

I pulled into Jacksonville with a huge smile on my face because I knew I had a good leg….

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